Welcome to the Hudson River State Hospital located in the United States in Poughkeepsie, New York. This gigantic hospital has overlooked the Hudson River for 136 years since its initial construction in 1871. The various hospital buildings were constructed and belong to the famous Kirkbride architectural order (read more on this excellent website).
The hospital was divided into two wings, for male and female patients, with an administration section located in the center. The male wing was much larger than the respective female wing. This was caused by the number of patients being unequal between the sexes (see the sky view from the hospital using the link above).
The beauty of the decay was unbelievable in this hospital. Most of the original constructions had been preserved.
Future renovation construction of the hospital were planned long ago. A fire, caused by lightning, burned the male wing in June 2007. As of the date of this article, the fate of Hudson Psyche Center remains unknown.
Hopefully this awesome Kirkbride will be saved. The United States is certainly not Europe and listing historical buildings as monuments might not be enough to protect them…
Archive documents dated between 1891 and 1918 (click on a thumbnail to enlarge):
Special thanks to Dr. Bob for sharing the old postcards.
Reference for the scanned documents: Handbook of the State Hospital Commission and the Hospitals for the Insane, 1918, E.S.Graney.
I've pretty much settled the Hillcrest thing but I see everyone is sort of ignoring the fact that Wardy and Kathy H. (author of 'Turning 15 in the Loony Bin') are both claiming to know an alternative Hillcrest that was demolished in the 50s. I'm angry because I bought the book and read a description of her journey up to Hillcrest and then to have the two of them on here trying to tell me that Hillcrest is to the north of the main building and it's a short walk (when that's the end of the property and the real Hillcrest is to the east and up the hill). I'm not gonna try and open up an old argument but I'm angry because I think Kathy is a fraud.
led-zep - I did not mean to insult you. Sorry, I misread your statement. I was just trying to help, more than to correct.
Sandra Filler: Would you please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org I have a question that our HRSH Alumni Association has been searching for an answer to, but I would rather not post it here. You may just be the person who can fill in the answer. Your help would really be appreciated. Thank you.
The opening statement, titled "Kirkbride Building" has a slight error. Actually, the male patients were housed in the smaller section. If you're looking at the front of the Main Building, (which is another name it was known as) the wing to the left was known as North Wing for male patients and the much larger wing to the right of the Main building was for female patients, known as South Wing. I worked in that building from 1959-1971 as a Therapy Aide. I then transferred to the new Herman B. Snow Building (Rehab. Building) and worked as a building attendant along with one other person. Our job was to make sure patients ( name later changed to clients) were directed to their Rehab programs. We were also responsible for reporting any incidents, giving tours to people such as other hospitals coming to see the latest thing in Rehabilitation styles, the G.R.O.W. Workshops, (which I obtained a job as Rehab. Asst. II) where the clients worked for pay at different jobs for companies from the community, such as I.B.M., Western Publishing, Eastern Lithographic, Schatz Manufacturing, etc. Also we showed dignitaries from Albany, NYC, Washington DC, and other states who came to see this building. A building called Pilgrim Hall ( housed clients was demolished to build the Snow Rehab Building. It had everything to recreate, relax and or learn there, a pool, gym, bowling alley, auditorium with stage and the ability to show movies. It had a library, class rooms for obtaining a G.E.D., Art classes, etc.. The recreation dept. was based there and had programs going on at all times. There was a community store & cafeteria for all to shop or eat there if they wanted to. Night activities for the clients were done there too, such as dart ball, dances, band practice for those who played an instrument, birthday parties and much more. The Rehab employees were like a family and helped each other make a very cheery and upbeat atmosphere for the clients. I worked there from 1971 to 1995 when I retired as a workshop supervisor after 36 1/2 years. I never regretted going to work there from high school. I felt I had made a difference in the clients life for the better. I also worked with some of the most dedicated people that kept the clients interest at the forefront of their jobs. I am saddened to see the grounds going to ruin and do hope before to many years go by that something is done to restore some of the buildings. I enjoy reading about HRPC and am glad there is continued interest in the hospitals history.
I know the Cheney building opened in the 50's.I was saying that i use to visit my great aunt in the Cheney building back in the 70's.Maybe you to need to understand what i wrote before correcting me ,I wasn't saying she was their in the 20's or 30's thats when she was put in their JEANNE!
For the record I havent the idea as to where you people get your intel from but you know nothing about HRSH, simply because
you know nothing about the Laws of that date in time when Children/or persons under the age of 21 were kept at all times
seperated from the Adult popolation of the hospital. From the Cheney buld. to the back of the hospital or meaning to where
Rt.9 cuts through the hospital. is where the adults were kept and on the otherside of Rt.9 up the hill and away from anyone's
eyesight that might be walking or driving on Rt.9 is where Hillcrest was located. The reason I know this is because in the year
of 1962 I use to go there to visit a close friend every weekend that was under the age of 16.Also past Hillcrest roughly 800 feet
was a building for patient's that were dionosed with TB and along that road there was cabin like houses that housed elderly
women.but however the children were kept seperated do to their age's. For me to further write on this subject it would no doubt
turn this letter of comment into a book.And for the records also the property on the other side of Rt.9 is not a part that was put
into the origenal blueprint of the Hospital because that land was donated to the hospital in 1951.And for the record I happen to
know persons from that time that are still alive that were at Hillcrest and for the record to I wont allow you or any of your sick
friends to exploit them into your horror movies where all of this bull crap originated from. They are human beings in case all of
you's forgot. If I have the time and there is anyone thats enterested in the real horror stories from that time of what America
allowed to happend to its citizens.Then maybe I'l begin writing a book of what happend to those poor souls.
The new owners are having problems with waste disposal on the property, so can’t do anything else at this point. It’s a long process, and will most likely take years.
Lep Zep- The Cheney Building didn’t open until 1952.
The grounds are patrolled by off duty police officers. It is extremely dangerous to enter now; more so now that the buildings have deteriorated by so many thieves. Also a mountain lion sighting was confirmed on the grounds. A picture of it was taken, and the photographer reported it as a different animal (I forget what), but it was seen by authorities who confirmed it is a mountain lion.
Also, for anyone who is seriously interested in the history, you can check out the HRSH Nurses Alumni webpage and Facebook page. There are histories of both the hospital and the nursing school as well as many pictures with more pictures of the museum to be posted soon. The website is HRSHnursesalumni.wordpress.com and the FaceBook page is under Hudson River State Hospital School of Nursing. The hospital history with a timeline is posted under 2011 and I will try to repost it now so that it will be more recent too. (I graduated from the nursing school in 1974.)
And one more time:Hillcrest is on what is now Cheney Drive- off 9G. The building still stands-it is a homeless shelter. This is the original and only Hillcrest. There are maps of the grounds posted on the website and Face Bk pages.
Any news on the sale of the property. What are they going to do with it???
im going this sunday with a few others. DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY TIPS OF WHERE TO ENTER?
was there earlier as i was about to enter the grounds i seen 2 honda suvs with one with dark tinted windows assuming its off duty cops doing a night watch both cars were park past the chenney next to ryon hall any one have any similar in counters i am a photographer just looking to take some pictures
For those actually want to go there for photography or other none-destructive reasons, go during the day and only go in a group of 2-3. If you want to go into the building, go buy a breathing mask from home depot. Enter through the woods NORTH of the college. Its worth the hike, every other entrance is patrolled. Once you get in the buildings, as long as you don't make a lot of noise you'll be fine. The trick is getting in without being seen. There are very few places to actually enter and exit the main the main building, they've boarded up a lot of the smashed out windows, so work quickly. If they catch you RUN, don't let them call the cops or arrest you. If you run to the woods in the north, you'll be fine.
Just make sure your in some kind of decent shape if you want to go in the building and escape without a huge fine and an arrest. They've done it before, but only if your stupid enough to hang around.
Marist Class 15'
I have some info on the place.When I was about 10 or so I used to go and visit my moms aunt their in the late 70's. She was put in their in her teens(for what my mom told me because she liked to sleep around)by her parents.I would have to say it must of been around the 1920's or early 1930's when she was admitted.From what my mother knows that her aunt did have lobotomies done on her when their.That was a perfect example of someone not being crazy but ending up becoming crazy after being their.The building that she was in at the time was the Chaney building i think , which is the tallest building on the grounds . I must say going to that place and seeing the patients walking around the grounds and the screams and cry's that I heard while walking down the halls was very disturbing for me . My mothers aunt lived their her whole life and would come to my grandparents house every Christmas and I must say it seemed that each year that I would see her she would be a little bit more crazy.That place really stuck with me over the years and as I got older I got more intrigued with the place and in my teens I would ride my bike through the grounds and see patients just walking freely throughout the grounds .I've been up their quite a few times in the last couple of years going through the buildings (I MUST SAY IT HAS A VERY CREEPY FEELING TO IT)just wondering how bad it must of been for the patients that lived their because seeing the way my moms aunt ended up it must not of been very good.Hope this will help you out a little bit .THX
I would love to learn more about the documentary you are assembling. Unfortunately, I have little information to share to assist you. My great grandmother was institutionalized in the hospital between 1935 and 1940, where she remained until she passed in 1947. I would like to learn more about the hospital and what life may have been like for those who lived there. Thank you!
I am currently directing a documentary about the history of psych center in poughkeepsie. If there is anybody that has information, footage, pictures or would like to be a part of our documentary pleae do not hesitate to contact me by my email listed. Any stories or interviews would be a wonderful way of making our film better. Thank you!
I grew up and lived on the grounds from 1954-1972. Hillcrest was always the long brick building on the hill near Ross Pavillion.
A few buddies and I want to check this place out. Does anybody have some type of map? Even if it just a screenshot of the place on google maps with some scribbles on it done in paint it would be helpful. I doesn't need it to be over the top, basically just the buildings labelled.
Hi I was thinking of going there soon, has anyone been there in the past month or two and knows if any patrols or anything is there?
that's what i always thought. There are people leading me to believe that in the 1960s, there was a Hillcrest that existed elsewhere on the campus somewhere up on the hill (i'm assuming around Violet and 9G) that was demolished. They've been saying that the Hillcrest House that remains isn't the original Hillcrest where children were attending. I know that there are a small number of buildings that were demolished/collapsed into the ground and built on top of, but none that were demolished in the 1960s so my argument was blowing up. I feel like i'm being lied to and certain people have things to hide. Thank you for clearing this up for me Steve
To all posting about Hillcrest, The Hillcrest House from the main campus was located across state route 9G (VioletAve) Cottage Road to Cheney Drive, to Snow Terrace. From the Kirkbride you would head East on Hudson View Drive to Paint Shop road to West Cottage out the gate then cross over 9g. Hillcrest School today is the Hillcrest House, part of Hudson River Housing, along with an emergency shelter, After they closed the main campus the State Hospital moved over there to the Ross Pavillion just east of the Hillcrest House.
I think i was stopped by the same cop.He seemed to be a decent guy,i was walking my dog up their with my son a couple of months ago.He asked for id and checked me out and knew we werent hurting anything .So he let us go .We talked for about 10 min.I was carrying my .357(legally) which i told him and he stated that it was a good idea to be up their packing because alot of homeless and drug addicts go up their and Will try to rob the unsuspected so be careful if you go their because you never know who could be hiding or living in them empty buildings.oh yea he also said that they work staggered shifts and some of the cops dont like working up at the psych center at night so they wont take the shifts.It is a nice place to walk around and explore but thanks to all the LOWLIFES that wrecked and stole things like all the copper out of the buildings ,us people that just want to check the place out and are interested in the history of the place CANT. SO BE CAREFUL AND GIVE THE OLD PLACE THE RESPECT THAT IT DESERVE.
Yes, the grounds are patrolled by off-duty police. I've spoken to some of them. They are paid overtime by the company that owns the property. Must be an insurance requirement or something. They use their own cars to drive around. I work at Home Depot.
The police are encouraged to arrest for trespassing, criminal mischief and burglary, if you take something. This ensures their ongoing job there. I've seen a few people get scooped up and taken away.
I don't think it's worth the risk. Take your pictures from route 9 and avoid getting asbestos in your lungs.
I was just there on the 16th. i parked on a road and walked through the woods and fence. there were 5 of us. we were like ninjas in the brush and stayed away from the main road as much as we could. we saw what looked like a white jeep driving around. as we made our way to the kirkbide (we did that last) we were just walking and i happened to glance over and saw the white vehicle. i swear it was about 50 feet from us on the road and we were in the brush walking. i looked right at it as did everyone else and it was a good 20-30 secs before we realized, holy shit, get to the ground. we dropped to our stomachs and the person didnt stop. i know damn well they saw us. they had to have seen us. but, they just drove on by. we stayed on the ground for a solid half hr or so just to be safe.
If it is sold I hope they keep that rec center the same. Just fix it up. Out of all the state hospitals ive researched. The snow building was the coolest. So far i've seen..
I grew up in Poughkeepsie. Wsa born there. We use to drive by all the time on the way to my Grandparents house and always use to look at it in wonder! I had no idea it was closed and abandoned now. Id really love to go and take some photo's, like I do at Kings Park- still, such a cool place, anyway, if anyone wants to go and take some photo's please keep me posted, thanks!!!
Here is a link to the article in the Poughkeepsie Journal about the possible sale. I haven't seen one about the sale actually going through. www.poughkeepsiejournal.com
Hurd that the grounds have been bought for 1.5 mill suppose to be finalized on Friday this was Hurd on a radio station did anyone else here this is this true ?
P.s does any one know about the church in the back of the grounds there is a gate leading into the back of the place has any one had any luck getting in that way has any one been there recently please leave comments
i've encountered vehicles actually driving or just parked on the campus. Two of the most familiar to me are a white, kinda old, pickup truck and a red dodge ram, newer. i've seen police hanging around Home Depot waiting to see if people are going to enter the campus but never seen actual police on the grounds. Does Poughkeepsie actually own the abandoned grounds, because if that's the case, the city's police can actually actively patrol it. I think there is a security company but in either case, i've never run into them, day or night, i've seen them but i was always fortunate to not get spotted or waited on. I doubt they'd be walking around as they're going to have issues with their own personal safety, in any case, never seen anyone walking around unless they were doing the same thing as me; exploring.
Is anyone aware if There are any night patrols?
So I heard that the cops just come and go as they please now i have seen cop cars going in from the rt9 gate and I herd that they walk around in street clothing anyone seen this I wanna go visit but it's not worth a ticket to me
It's Pretty easy to get into this location if you know how to look, In response to some people hearing about a loud banging sound in the main building, it seems there is a door on the upper level that slams whenever the wind blows, their are no windows to keep the wind from getting in that room. The place has its vibe that is uneasy but makes for great photographs! If you're into exploring and not destroying a beautiful place then this is a place you should visit!
Well, i'm not surprised to see i haven't received any responses from my last post.
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